Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics
In the visual domain, Marsolek and colleagues (1999, 2008) have found support for two dissociable and parallel neural subsystems underlying object and shape recognition: an abstract-category subsystem that operates more effectively in the left cerebral hemisphere (LH), and a specific-exemplar subsystem that operates more effectively in the right cerebral hemisphere (RH). Evidence of this asymmetry has been observed in priming specificity for linguistic (words, pseudoword forms) and nonlinguistic (objects) stimuli. In the auditory domain, the authors previously found hemispheric asymmetries in priming effects for linguistic (spoken words) and nonlinguistic (environmental sounds) stimuli. In the present study, the same asymmetrical pattern was observed in talker identification by means of two long-term repetition-priming experiments. Both experiments consisted of a familiarization phase and a final talker identification test phase, using sentences as stimuli. The results showed that specificity effects (an advantage for same-sentence priming, relative to different-sentence priming) emerged when the target stimuli were presented to the left ear (RH), but not when the target stimuli were presented to the right ear (LH). Taken together, this consistent asymmetrical pattern of data from both domains-visual and auditory-may be indicative of a more general property of the human perceptual processing system. Theoretical implications are discussed.
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González, J., Cervera-Crespo, T., & McLennan, C. T. (November 2010). Hemispheric differences in specificity effects in talker identification. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 72, 8, 2265-73.